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The Gluten Free Veggie

Gluten Free and Vegetarian Recipes, Reviews and Information

Recipe (GF, V) |Halloumi and Red Pepper Stuffed Mushrooms

This recipe is very simple and makes perfect buffet food or part of a meal. If you don’t like halloumi you could use feta, goat’s cheese or even a blue cheese like stilton or gorgonzola.

Ingredients:

4 portobello mushrooms

1/2 red pepper, cubed

50g of halloumi, cubed

10g of grated cheddar

Dried basil

Dried oregano

Dried sage

 

Method:

  1. Bake the mushrooms for 20 minutes on gas mark 7.
  2. Fry the halloumi, the peppers and herbs.
  3. Once the mushrooms are baked mix the cheddar in with the halloumi and peppers. This is crucial for helping the mix stick together. Omit the cheddar is you have replaced the halloumi with a softer cheese.
  4. Add the mixture to the mushrooms and bake for another 15 minutes.
  5. Serve as an appetiser or with a side.

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

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Awareness | Coeliac Disease and Mental Health

*DISCLAIMER* I am not a health care professional, this post’s content is from my own experiences and research. Please seek medical advice if you are struggling with your mental health and/or Coeliac Disease. There is no shame in asking for help.

Earlier this week was World Mental Health Day and as well as thinking about those who struggle with depression and anxiety on a daily basis, it got me thinking about how Coeliac Disease can negatively impact your mental health.

“Depression and related mood disorders are reported to be associated with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. One study found that major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and adjustment disorders were more common in a group of CD patients compared to controls” – Neurologic and Psychiatric Manifestations of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity by Jessica R. JacksonWilliam W. EatonNicola G. CascellaAlessio Fasano, and Deanna L. Kelly  in The Psychiatric quarterly 83.1 (2012): 91–102. PMC.

 

“Anxiety, depression and fatigue are common complaints in patients with untreated celiac disease and contribute to lower quality of life. While aspects of these conditions may improve within a few months after starting a gluten-free diet, some patients continue to suffer from significant psychological morbidity. Psychological symptoms may affect the quality of life and the dietary adherence.” – Psychological morbidity of celiac disease: A review of the literature by  Julio C Bai in United European Gastroenterology Journal  (Nov, 2014)

Several studies have shown an increased rate of depression in those with Coeliac Disease, which is often but not always alleviated by beginning a gluten free diet (see the linked articles above for more information on the studies).

Nobody seems exactly sure why the two are linked, but some have suggested that the malnutrition suffered during the illness plays a part. Others see the shock of the diagnosis and the lifestyle changes it brings to be the main catalyst.

The change that comes with Coeliac Disease can be difficult to adjust to – it effects your entire life. You can’t eat out at your favourite spots anymore, family meals can be hard to organise, your favourite snacks are no longer safe, your favourite comfort foods are off the menu. On top of all of that you have to worry about cross contamination and the continuous stigma from non-Free From-ers.

It can be hard to overcome those initial feelings that your life is worse, and whilst we all have moments of feeling left out, wishing we could eat certain foods, it does get better. You get used to the food, find new favourites and find places that you can eat near you.

Most importantly you need to find a community of people who are in the same situation. Facebook is a wonderful resource for this (Facebook groups such as Gluten Free and Me, Coeliacs in the UK, Gluten Free UK etc.) but you can also join Coeliac UK and find people through them.

Finally, if you are really struggling to push past the initial shock, you may find talking to a professional is helpful. The NHS offers help as well as charities.

 

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

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E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

Recipe (GF, Vegan) | Jacket Potato with Ratatouille

Another winter warmer for your recipe arsenal! This recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan.

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Ingredients:

1 large baking potato

1/2 a courgette

1/4 yellow pepper

4 mushrooms

1 carton of passata

Dried sage to taste

Dried thyme to taste

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Method:

  1. Bake the potato for 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours on gas mark 7, turning halfway.
  2. Chop and shallow fry the vegetables. Add the herbs and the passata
  3. Slice the potato in half and top with the sauce

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

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Awareness | FODMAP: The Final Free From Frontier?

If you’ve been a Free From-er for more than a year you may have noticed something – availability, range and branding are getting a lot better.

Since I had go gluten free three years ago big brands have started to make Free From items – such as Ben and Jerry’s new non-dairy ice creams. Not only that, but supermarket own brands have grown a huge amount, we’ve seen ready meal ranges introduced, frozen party food, seasonal specials and restaurants are starting to have GF and DF menus. Some Free From brands are even working hard to make their products allergen free, catering for those with soya intolerances, nut allergies and a whole host of other conditions that require food free from allergens.

But something struck me when thinking about this. I was interviewed about 6 months ago for Too Good to be Gluten Free’s Coeliac Spotlight, and when asked “Are there any good GF alternatives you’re yet to find?” I found myself answering “The range of gluten free food is pretty good now, it’s definitely my IBS that restricts what’s available to me rather than being gluten free as companies just aren’t interested in making low FODMAP or allium free foods.”

The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve realised that currently it is actually my IBS that restricts what I can eat, and not my Coeliac Disease, as I first thought. EVERYTHING seems to contain onion or garlic, and even if I think I’m safe with puddings, there is often something like dates or apples that are a risk to those with IBS in gluten free puddings.

As a result of this I buy hardly any pre-made foods, which might be good for my wallet and health, but it certainly makes life difficult. Currently, if I want a quick and easy pre-made meal I can buy Schar’s frozen pizzas (no onion or garlic like most pizzas, wahoo!) and Evexia Thrive’s Tortellonis (again, no onions or garlic!), but there aren’t many other choices!

Unfortunately, alliums are not the only issue for those of us with IBS! There are a whole host of high FODMAP ingredients. The problem with IBS is that not every IBS sufferer reacts to the same ingredients – for example, whilst I am fine with dairy, some find this is a trigger for them. I cannot tolerate beans or pulses, whereas others are find with lentils, chickpeas etc. It is very tricky (if not impossible) for Free From companies to make products that every single person with IBS will be able to eat, and so it seems they simply don’t try, developing products that can be marketed towards other groups.

As with most Free From products, low FODMAP foods can be very expensive compared to their “normal” counterparts. For example, here is a salsa I came across the other day, marketed as “low FODMAP certified”. It works at about £5 a jar for 473ml. It contains the usual salsa ingredients, minus onions and garlic. For the same amount of this “normal” salsa, you’d only pay £3.40. With some Free From products, we can understand a slight rise in price – the ingredients are more expensive. But for this, it’s far cheaper to make it yourself.

So is this the final Free From frontier? With the range and availability of most Free From foods becoming better than ever, should those of us with IBS be pushing for more products for us? Lots of pre-made gluten free foods would be safe for those of us with IBS if they took out the onion or garlic – is this something we’re likely to see happening, such as this ready meal gluten free macaroni cheese by M and S?

How about other dietary restrictions – do you have a dietary restriction that you think is even less catered for than low FODMAP? Let’s help Free From brands by showing them what’s still left to be done!

 

Featured Image credit to The Great Courses Daily.

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

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Recipe (GF, V) | Pear Crumble

By Lucy.

It’s that time of year again when the leaves are turning, the days are getting shorter, and all I want to do is snuggle up on the sofa with a blanket and a book. What better way to enjoy the autumnal weather than with a bowl of crumble – warm, comforting and delicious!

This is one of the first recipes I learned to cook after my diagnosis, it’s really easy and the total prep time only takes about 15 minutes. You can substitute the pears for different fruits – I particularly like doing this recipe with plums.

The crumble topping does include gluten free oats, some coeliacs can’t tolerate oats, if you’re one of them feel free to leave them out – it tastes just as good without!

pearss

Ingredients

 

For the filling

600g pears

4 tbsp caster sugar

Knob of butter

 

For the crumble

160g plain GF four

80g butter

50g ground almonds

50g GF oats (optional)

70g caster sugar

pearsshhh

 

Method

  1. Peel the pears and remove the cores. Cut them into equal pieces, and place them with the butter and sugar in a saucepan on a low heat until they begin to slightly soften. This should take between 5-10 minutes.
  2. While the pears are cooking, find yourself a decent sized mixing bowl and rub the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. This is easier with a block of butter, as the texture is firmed. Then stir in the almonds, caster sugar and oats.
  3. Carefully place the pears at the bottom of a medium sized oven proof dish, and sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the sides are bubbling. If the top starts to catch, cover it with some kitchen foil.
  5. Serve with cream or custard!

pears

About Lucy

Lucy is a contributing author at The Gluten Free Veggie. She is a 29 year old vegetarian Coeliac with a passion for great recipes! Check out all of her posts here. When she’s not cooking up delicious treats, Lucy is creating greetings cards for her business. Check out her Facebook page here.

 

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

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E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

Awareness | 5 Unexpected Consequences of Coeliac Disease

When you’re first diagnosed all you can think about is getting better. Here are a few ways this disease might impact your life that you may not have realised.

 

Food trust issues – Once you’ve experienced the dangers of cross contamination, how ill it can make you and how common it can be in unaware eateries, letting someone else, even family members, cook or prepare your food can be stressful. It’s hard to trust anyone not to make you ill when you think about how little you knew about cross contamination before you were diagnosed. This feeling mellows over time, but the key is to educate those close to you as much as possible. You might be surprised how willing they are to help.

Secondary illnesses – Whilst not everyone develops another illness after Coeliac diagnosis, it is unfortunately quite common to develop other autoimmune conditions or IBS. Lactose or dairy intolerances can also be linked to Coeliac, due to the gut damage caused by the ingestion of gluten.

Stigma – Non-Coeliacs sometimes have a hard time believing that you have a lifelong disease, especially as the symptoms are invisible. You might find yourself fielding comments like “it’s all in your head”, “you don’t look ill” and “oh doesn’t everyone get bloated after eating?”. The stigma can only be fought with awareness – non-Coeliacs often don’t mean to be rude, they just don’t understand.

Weight gain – This is not the case for every Coeliac, but the combination of your gut healing and the higher quantity of fat in some gluten free products means that you may find yourself gaining weight. Whilst this may initially be a good thing if the illness left you underweight (I lost more than a stone in just two months when I was first ill!), sticking to naturally gluten free foods instead of ready meals is a good way to ensure you don’t consume more fat and sugar than you should be.

Stretched budget – When you’re first diagnosed you’ll be so relieved to find bread, pasta and pizza that you can actually eat, so you might not notice the price difference! Having to eat gluten free might dramatically effect your shopping bill. Sticking to naturally gluten free foods will help keep your shopping bill down.

 

 

 

Advice | Tips for Coeliacs in Fresher’s Week

Your first Fresher’s Week can be very daunting, even if you’re not a Coeliac! Here are some tips to help you navigate the first week, stay healthy and still have fun!

I was lucky in some ways to not be diagnosed until my second year of my undergraduate degree. I knew what to expect of Fresher’s Week and could avoid any tempting or potentially risky situations.

 

Don’t cave to peer pressure with gluten alcohol – a large part of Fresher’s Week for some people is drinking and clubbing. If you know you’re likely to be tempted by gluten containing alcohol such as beer, make sure you have safe pre-drinks available. Be aware that some cheap mixers such as coke may contain barley as a sweetener. Cider is nearly always a safe bet, but if in doubt, don’t drink in the clubs or SU. There’s nothing worse than a hangover AND a glutening at the same time.

Look after yourself to avoid Fresher’s Flu – the biggest mistake a lot of Freshers make is to party too hard and eat rubbish. With all the new people mixing, Fresher’s Flu quickly spreads around halls and so taking care of your health during the first few weeks is crucial to aiding your immune system. This even more pertinent for Coeliacs – as with any chronic condition, your immune system may be weak. Consider taking some multivitamins, or if you have a history of poor immunity, talk to the on campus doctor. Some Coeliacs are automatically offered the flu jab, although there are pros and cons to this. Be sure to talk to your doctor, but firstly make sure you are eating well and getting enough sleep.

Make the most of the freebies whilst avoiding gluten – during my first Fresher’s Week I had free pizza, cakes, sweets and sandwiches hoisted on. Whilst this was a great novelty the first time, once I was diagnosed Coeliac it become an annoyance. Remember that there are lots of other freebies to take advantage of during the fayres and don’t be tempted to take the gluten! For example, in my second year I got several packets of post-its which I still use now (3 years later!), a memory stick, free stickers, some second hand books from the English department (Treasure Island and a grammar book), plus some kitchen bits from Wilko (a wooden spoon and a spatula). You don’t need to feel like you’re missing out on free items just because you can’t eat the free food!

Talk to your new flatmates about cross contamination. You may find them understanding. Make sure you have everything set up to minimise the risks of being glutened in your new flat.

Prepare for any first society meetings by getting snacks. Lots of university societies provide snacks for the first meetings that might not be safe. Be prepared for this and buy your own safe snacks to take with you.

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

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Eating Out | Review of Biscuit, The Gluten Free Cafe (Poole, Dorset)

Please read the end of the review for my star rating and conclusion.

Biscuit is a brand new 100% gluten free cafe in Branksome, near Poole, Dorset, which was opened three weeks ago by French native Stephanie. This cafe fills a niche in the market by being both completely gluten free and influenced by French cuisine.

Biscuit (13)

The owner, Stephanie, is an IBD sufferer herself and as such understands the needs of many Free From customers, including of course Coeliacs but also those with IBS, those who need dairy free food and those who need low sugar food.

Biscuit (11)

I must highlight one thing in this review – Biscuit is a very new business, finding its feet within the local community and adapting the menu to appeal to everyone.

My first impression of the cafe on walking in was very pleasant; whilst small, the decor is tasteful and relaxing, all of the tables and the counter were clean and unlike a lot of cafes, Biscuit smells lovely! Whilst this might seem a strange thing to notice about a cafe, its a factor that has affected my dining experience in other establishments and made my heightened my opinion of Biscuit.

All of these details added to the friendly and relaxed atmosphere that pervades this cafe. Stephanie and her staff were chatty with us and the other customers we saw come in and answer our many questions about ingredients (IBS forces me to do so!). I also impressed that the staff member who took our order told us assured us about their gluten free food unprompted and knew how to answer questions about dietary requirements or allergies.

Biscuit (7)

We enjoyed sampling the menu, though we could not try everything due to our dietary requirements. Biscuit offers hot food as well as quiche, wraps, sandwiches and a selection of cakes.

We both tried a vegetarian adaptation of Biscuit’s Croque Madame and agreed it was lovely. The egg was cooked beautifully with a soft yolk which complimented the creamy Emmental cheese. It was accompanied by a nice side salad and dressing. It felt lovely to be able to sit down at a cafe and order hot food with no fear of cross contamination.

Biscuit (19)

My boyfriend tried the scrambled eggs on toast on another occasion and found it similarly tasty, but the real stars of the show were the cakes.

Biscuit (3)

The chocolate cake was incredibly moist and delicate although not as sweet as we were expecting. The chocolate and walnut brownie was similarly moist but with a far richer and sweeter chocolatey taste.

Biscuit (5)

Our favourite sweet option by far were the chocolate chip cookies. They were light and chewy, melted in your mouth and were perfectly flavoured – some of the best gluten free cookies we’ve ever had.

Biscuit (22)

You would not be able to tell that any of these sweet options were gluten free – in fact, Biscuit attracts a lot of non-Coeliacs due to its location opposite a retail park.

Whilst we enjoyed all of the food we tried, we both felt that the biggest thing this cafe lacks is range. It would be nice to see the French theme expanded with crepes (Jason added they should offer Nutella crepes, his favourite food!), croissants, mille-feuille or macarons as well as some additional savoury dishes. I must stress again how new this cafe is and so you must not let this put you off visiting – I know that Biscuit is open to suggestions and is experimenting with new menu additions even now.

The drinks menu was fairly standard and we enjoyed both coffee and hot chocolate, but each hot drink comes with a little homemade gluten free biscuit – inspired by petit beurre. This was a lovely touch, especially given the very reasonable prices.

Biscuit (17)

This was a big feature for us – as students, it can be really difficult to get good gluten free food for a low price unless you make it yourself. Biscuit’s prices were a lot more reasonable than the other 100% gluten free cafes we have visited in the past, especially the ones in London. We thought that £2.50 (compared to £4-5 in other cafes we’ve been to) for a slice of cake was very affordable.

This cafe has a lot of potential. An independent, allergy aware, specialist eatery like this on the south coast will draw a lot of holiday makers to it as well as locals and the French twist will keep Coeliac customers coming back for more.

 

4 and a half

4  & 1/2 out of 5 stars for a 100% gluten free cafe with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. With an increase in range on the hot menu and more French foods, this cafe could easily be a 5 star eatery. Make sure to visit if you are in the area!

Check out Biscuit’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/BiscuitTheGFC/

Read their menu here: https://www.biscuitthegfc.co.uk/menu

 

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

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Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

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Recipe (GF, V) | Cheddar and Yeast Extract Biscuits

These are the perfect mix of creamy cheese and salty yeast extract (which is packed with vitamins!). These are perfectly chewy – halfway between a scone and a crunchy biscuit.

 

Ingredients:

150g of gluten free plain flour

40g of grated cheddar

70g of softened unsalted butter

1 teaspoon of yeast extract

2 tablespoons of warm water

 

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4.
  2. Use an electric whisk to combine the softened butter, yeast extract and cheddar.
  3. Slowly add in the flour and combine with the warm water to make a dough.
  4. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  5. Create even sized balls, place onto the tray and flatten.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool thoroughly and then enjoy!

4.8.17 (37)

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Recipes every Monday, blog posts every Friday! See the previous Monday’s recipe here.

Social Media:

Youtube: The Gluten Free Veggie – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-b7T1VFTZqYq15aPvdlNwA

Twitter: @theGFveggie

Tumblr: glutenfreeveggie.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theGFveggie

E-mail your questions or suggestions to: glutenfreeveggieblog@gmail.com

 

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